In 1947 North Carolina became the first state in the nation to use public funds to buy art.
Since that $1MM acquisition of 139 works of European and American art, holdings have grown to include works in European painting from the Renaissance to the 19th-century, including a Kress Foundation gift of 75 Italian Renaissance and baroque paintings. Also, Egyptian funerary art, sculpture and vase painting from ancient Greece and Rome, American art of the 18th- through 20th-centuries, and international contemporary art. Other strengths are African, ancient American, pre-Columbian, and Oceanic art. The NCMA houses a notable permanent display of Jewish ceremonial art objects.
Recent acquisitions include 30 works by Auguste Rodin, and mid- to late-20th-century art, including works by Jackie Ferrara, Adolph Gottlieb, Ellsworth Kelly, and Sean Scully.
More than a dozen monumental works of sculpture are installed among landscaped gardens and reflecting pools in the 164 acre Museum Park.
Showcasing enormous volumes of hand colored engravings
Explores issues of history, status, power, and religion
Images reveal hidden scenes within mirrors, frames, and windowpanes, stimulating new ways of looking
A video installation of a fantastical manmade “wilderness”
Immersive installation explores the naturalist's life and artistic process
Showcases the paintings of two 20th century icons and their compatriots
Unravels the mystery of the Egyptian mummy
Large-scale oil paintings focused on family